Creating a safe work environment is arguably the employer’s most important job. A safe place to work means employees have little to no risk of developing an injury or illness while on the job. OSHA law also requires "employers to provide their employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers.”
If you are running an unsafe operation, consequences can be serious, even life-threatening.
Not only is it the law to keep workers safe, but it is a moral responsibility. People that work within a facility or at a worksite have families, friends, and lives outside of being employed. Their safety and health should never be comprised for a paycheck. For that reason, it is critical to put their well-being at the forefront of your business.
What is workplace safety?
Occupational safety is important for a number of reasons. First and foremost, an employee should never compromise their health and bodily safety to complete a job. Instead, employers have both the legal and moral obligation to provide a working environment that is free from known risks.
To achieve that, employers need to develop a safety strategy that fits their facility. For example, this can be implemented through actions such as holding training sessions to provide necessary safety program information or providing PPE at no cost.
Not only will employees experience a morale boost, but productivity and overall work culture will have improved as well.
Essential Workplace Safety Programs
All workplaces must have facility safety programs to help enhance safe behavior while at work. How the business chooses to implement these programs is up to them, but they often include subjects such as:
- Emergency procedures
- Chemical safety
- First aid
- Equipment safety
- Fire safety
- Electrical safety
For all employers, it is important to assess the workplace hazards and act accordingly. Each workplace is different, so it will be important to tailor any safety efforts to meet the needs of the facility.
Common Workplace Safety Procedures
Safety programs are nothing without the help of safety procedures. These are the actions that maintain safety programs in the event of an inspection, and even for reconsidering options due to a recent workplace injury or illness.
Having an effective workplace safety strategy or procedure includes:
- Providing personal protective equipment
- Implementing safeguards
- Using administrative controls
- Offering training
When workers are informed of any present dangers and understand the necessary safety procedures, the team will be happier, healthier, and more productive.
Prioritizing The Safety and Health of all Employees
The common saying of “a safe workplace is an efficient workplace” matters when the staff and their clients rely on the success of the company in terms of value. Keeping workers safe will improve employee morale and when employees are happy with their job, the more productive they will be.
Employees operate much more efficiently when they know they can complete their job or task without their health being affected. An effective safety program also works to reduce risk. Therefore, it also works to reduce any unexpected downtime caused by ailments, injuries, or any of the eight wastes of Lean.
Additional Workplace Safety facts:
- Workplace safety is important for several reasons. First, it protects employees from injuries, illnesses, and death. Second, it helps protect employers from liability in the event of an accident. Third, it helps to ensure that the workplace is a safe and healthy environment for everyone. Source: https://theblackwellfirm.com/3-reasons-why-workplace-safety-is-important/
- According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), more than 2.78 million workers die from occupational accidents and work-related diseases each year, and an additional 374 million workers suffer from non-fatal injuries. The economic cost of poor occupational safety and health practices is estimated at 3.94 per cent of global Gross Domestic Product each year. Source: https://iosh.com/news/why-health-and-safety-is-important/
- Workplace safety is also an essential part of the movement towards sustainable development. It contributes to the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainability by protecting workers’ rights, well-being, and livelihoods, enhancing productivity and competitiveness, and reducing environmental impacts and resource consumption. Source: https://safetyculture.com/topics/workplace-safety/
- Workplace safety can be improved by implementing a comprehensive safety strategy and program that involves risk assessment, hazard identification and control, training and education, monitoring and evaluation, and continuous improvement. Workers should also be involved in the safety process and empowered to report and address any safety issues or concerns. Source: https://iosh.com/news/why-health-and-safety-is-important/
- There are various standards, guidelines, and tools that can help employers and workers improve workplace safety. For example, the ILO has developed a set of International Labour Standards on occupational safety and health that cover various aspects of work, such as working conditions, occupational diseases, chemical safety, and ergonomics. The World Health Organization (WHO) also provides resources and guidance on workplace health promotion, occupational health services, and occupational health surveillance. Source: https://safetyculture.com/topics/workplace-safety/
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